News from the FDA/CDC

FDA approves benralizumab autoinjector for eosinophilic asthma


The Food and Drug Administration has approved a prefilled, single-use autoinjector of benralizumab (Fasenra) for self-administration in adults with eosinophilic asthma, according to a press release from AstraZeneca. Benralizumab is already approved as add-on maintenance for this form of asthma, but not for other eosinophilic conditions or for acute bronchospasm or status asthmaticus.

A stamp saying "FDA approved." Olivier Le Moal/Getty Images

The autoinjector “pen” was tested for usability and pharmacokinetic exposure in two studies, the phase 3 GRECO trial and the phase 1 AMES trial, respectively. The multicenter, open-label GRECO trial was designed to assess patient- or caregiver-reported functionality, and it found that 97% of at-home administrations were successful at week 12 and week 16. The multicenter, randomized, open-label, parallel-group AMES trial compared pharmacokinetic exposure with the subcutaneous administration using either prefilled syringe or prefilled autoinjector; it found that the eosinophils were rapidly depleted in patients with use of either device.

The safety profiles in both trials were comparable to those seen in previous trials. Hypersensitivity reactions have been sometimes observed in the hours following administration of benralizumab; discontinuation is advised in case of any hypersensitivity reaction. The therapy should not be used to treat acute asthma symptoms, such as exacerbations, or bronchospasm, and any reduction in corticosteroid therapy should be gradual and performed under careful supervision of a health care professional. Although benralizumab’s effects on helminth infections are currently unknown, care should be taken with preexisting or incident infections.

Full prescribing information can be found on the AstraZeneca website.

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